Lynd Ward's illustrations for Frankenstein

Lynd Ward (1905 - 1985) was an American artist best known for his wood engravings — in particular, his novels without words, in which he tells a story entirely through woodcuts. His style combines Art Deco with German Expressionism.

Ward's woodcuts illustrated a 1934 edition of Frankenstein, published in New York by Harrison Smith and Robert Haas. These are outstanding, not only for excellence and power of design, but especially for insights into a disturbing and powerfully poetic work.

More than any other illustrator, Ward grasped the ambivalence with which the author of Frankenstein, Percy Bysshe Shelley*, portrayed the “monster” (also called “Being”, “creature”, “fiend”, “demon”, “wretch”, and “devil”). As seen by Lynd Ward, the Being is both pathetic and terrifying; his body is both athletic and deformed. You can pity him, sympathize and even identify with him, without quite wishing to hold his hand or let him cry on your shoulder.

— John Lauritsen

To see the front cover of my rather worn copy of the 1934 Frankenstein, illustrated by Lynd Ward, click here.

Below are descriptions and links to all of Ward's full-page illustrations for Frankenstein — almost all of his illustrations for chapter headings - and a few of the more interesting small illustrations. Click on a description to go to the annotated illustration on another web page. Then click the RETURN or BACK button on your browser to return to this page.

Full Page Illustrations:

p. 27:  Elizabeth as a child.

p. 55:  The newly created monster tries to get in bed with Victor Frankenstein.

p. 69:  Victor Frankenstein and his friend Henry Clerval walk in the country outside Ingolstadt.

p. 91:  Justine in prison.

p. 107:  The monster and Victor Frankenstein confront each other in the Swiss Alps, on a field of ice.

p. 115:  Villagers stone the monster.

p. 125:  The monster gazes into a pool. 

p. 137:  Safie's father,
an “unfortunate Mahometan”, in prison.

p. 151:  Felix, son of De Lacy, attacks the monster.

p. 161:  The monster strangles little William.

p. 171:  Victor Frankenstein finds solitude in a boat.

p. 187:  Victor Frankenstein reconsiders making a female monster.

p. 201:  Irish villagers carry the lifeless body of Henry Clerval.

p. 217:  Elizabeth looks out a window.

p. 227  Elizabeth's lifeless body sprawled on the bed.

Smaller Illustrations:

Title Page:  Victor Frankenstein in anguish.

Preface:  Hand of Creator, creature.

p. 1:  Captain Walton in Petersburgh.

p. 5:  Sails of ship, sun.

p. 10:  Ship in high waves.

p. 11:  Ship surrounded by icebergs.

p. 21:  Houses in Geneva.

p. 27:  Young man and woman walking in the countryside.

p. 35:  Carriage transporting Victor Frankenstein to Ingolstadt.

p. 44:  Victor Frankenstein robbing a grave.

p. 53:  Victor Frankenstein with chemistry equipment.

p. 61:  Houses in Ingolstadt.

p. 70:  Female figure (Elizabeth?) by coffin of little William.

p. 83:  Judges, prison.

p. 102:  River and bridge in the Alps.

p. 110:  The monster in open country at night.

p. 119:  Felix chops wood; Agatha watches.

p. 127:  Safie on horseback.

p. 140:  Felix outside the hut.

p. 141:  De Lacy playing guitar.

p. 151:  The monster flees.

p. 162:  Victor Frankenstein in thought.

p. 179:  London.

p. 199:  Irish villagers staring at Victor Frankenstein.

p. 211:  Hand clutching hand.

p. 212:  Ship and boat.

p. 223:  Elizabeth and Victor by lake.

p. 232:  Victor quits Geneva.

p. 241:  Walton's sword.

p. 242:  The monster on Arctic ice.

p. 259:  Arm [of the monster] going down in flames.

* For the case that Percy Bysshe Shelley (rather than his second wife Mary) is the author of Frankenstein, see the description and reviews of my book, The Man Who Wrote Frankenstein (2007).  Click here.

I write books and am proprietor of Pagan Press, a small book publisher.  Each of our books is unique and well produced.  Please check out the Pagan Press BOOKLIST  — John Lauritsen

Back to The Frankenstein Pages.

For John Lauritsen's home page click here.